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Biden blocks China-backed crypto miner from owning land near Wyoming missile base over national security threats

By Isabelle Stanley for Dailymail.Com

06:22 May 14, 2024, updated 06:28 May 14, 2024

  • Biden issued the order on Monday blocking ownership of MineOne Partners
  • The Ministry of Finance called the location a ‘significant risk to national security’



President Joe Biden has banned a Chinese-backed crypto mining company from owning land near a nuclear missile base in Wyoming, saying it is a “national security risk.”

Biden issued the order on Monday banning MineOne Partners Ltd from owning land near the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base.

The order forces the divestiture of properties operated as crypto mining facilities near the base and orders MineOne and its affiliates to remove certain equipment from the site.

The Treasury said there were problems with “specialized and foreign equipment that could potentially facilitate surveillance and espionage activities.”

Tensions between the US and China are escalating, with both countries cracking down on the presence of foreign companies and dependence on their products.

President Joe Biden has issued an order banning a Chinese-backed cryptocurrency mining company from owning land near the nuclear missile base in Wyoming

The Treasury Department said MineOne’s ownership of land near the base – one of three strategic missile bases in the US – posed a security threat.

MineOne purchased the land within a mile of its Cheyenne base in 2022, but the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States said the purchase was not reported to them as required.

The committee was only informed of the sale after receiving a public tip.

They then investigated the property and found that there were issues with “specialized and foreign-sourced equipment that could potentially facilitate surveillance and espionage activities” and that “posed a significant risk to national security.”

As a result of the concerns, they ordered the sale of the property within 120 days, and said the company must remove all structures and equipment on the property within 90 days.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, chair of the committee, said their role is “to ensure that foreign investment does not undermine our national security.”

“Particularly as it relates to transactions that pose risks to sensitive U.S. military installations, as well as transactions involving specialized equipment and technologies.”

The committee includes members from the Departments of State, Justice, Energy and Commerce and examines the national security risks of foreign investments in U.S. companies.

Both Biden and former President Donald Trump have told voters they will be tough on China

It represents a new escalation of tensions between the US and China.

The US will impose major new tariffs on Tuesday on electric vehicles, semiconductors, solar energy equipment and medical supplies imported from China.

In particular, tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles could quadruple – from the existing 25 percent to 100 percent.

Both Biden and former President Donald Trump have told voters they will be tough on China.

Biden has defined his policy as “competition with China, not conflict.”

He has embraced an industrial strategy that has used government financial support to lure private investment in new factories and advanced technology, while restricting sales of computer chips and other equipment to China.

It is the latest step in a cold war between the two countries, with the US imposing sanctions on a long list of Chinese companies on national security grounds.

The US will impose major new tariffs on Tuesday on electric vehicles, semiconductors, solar energy equipment and medical supplies imported from China.
Biden has defined his policy as ‘competition with China, not conflict’

In March, senators compared the social media app TikTok to a ‘gun pointed at the American’s head’ has passed a bill that would force China-based ByteDance to divest from TikTok.

Senator Richard Blumenthal told DailyMail.com that through the app, Chinese communists are “weaponizing information that they continuously collect, surreptitiously harvesting from 170 million Americans and potentially through algorithms targeting that information at the core of American democracy.”

Biden also announced in February that he was taking action against Chinese automakers to prevent them from selling electric vehicles in the US due to safety risks.

There are currently 2.4 million EVs registered in the US, but Biden warned that if China is allowed to flood the EV market, automakers could easily track consumer data at a time when cars are constantly connected to our phones and navigation systems.

Equating vehicles to “smartphones on wheels,” he said his administration is examining the potential impact on national security with the possibility of a future ban on Chinese vehicles making their way into the U.S. market.

Beijing has sought to reduce its dependence on foreign companies by growing its local semiconductor industry as it grapples with U.S. export restrictions on technology including advanced chips.